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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Synod On The Family - A Mother's Perspective

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The January-February 2015 issue of Faith Magazine has been published. You can read the full articles online at the website or via issuu, or download a pdf of the Magazine. The editorial is on St Joseph, Model of Heroic Fatherhood, Joseph Estorninho has an article about Gregorian Chant in the GIRM, my regular column on the Liturgy tackles the question of The Scylla and Charybdis of Participation and there are many other items of interest including the question of science and religion which is at the heart of the Faith Movement's apostolate.

I particularly recommend The Synod On The Family - A Mother's Perspective by Jacqueline Stewart. It is good to see her confidently billed as "a stay-at-home mum to five children whose ages range from 5 to 16." The article is an intelligent, direct, and critical appraisal of the Synod on the Family from the point of view of a mother trying to bring her children up in the Cathoilic faith. Se asks:
What message was the Church offeri…

British Government to crack down on meetings of intellectuals?

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Christian Concern alerts us to a worrying development in the push to enforce the teaching of "British Values" in the wake of the "Trojan Horse" scandal of Muslim infiltration of state schools. An Open Consultation has been published on draft guidance to be issued under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, for "specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism." This is itself a dangerous Trojan Horse.

Christian concern particularly highlights the effect that this guidance would have on Christian Unions in universities and Colleges (See: Protect gospel freedom in universities and colleges)

We share the concern of our non-Catholic brothers and sisters in this matter because the guidance would also effect Catholic Societies at Universities and Colleges. Essentially, such societies would need to provide, at least two weeks in advance, details of speakers and events that they are organising, including an outl…

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy statement on marriage

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The British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy has published a statement on Marriage in the teaching of the Catholic Church. Parish priests may wish to download the pdf version for distribution.

This statement is a good summary of Catholic doctrine concerning marriage. Ordinarily, it might be considered simply a workmanlike pastoral document for sharing, to avoid different priests having to compose their own text. In the present circumstances, it has the character of a courageous statement of what we have always believed and continue to believe, despite the efforts of some to undermine Catholic teaching or compromise with the values of the world.

A patron saint for rejecting the occult

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Sadly it is common in England today, to see advertisements for psychic fairs, shops selling occult paraphernalia, and booksellers displaying books of spells for young people. I recently called into a shop I thought might be interesting but walked out again smartly when I saw that there was a tarot card reading session taking place.

Christians were blamed by superstitious Romans for natural misfortunes. Tertullian pokes fun at this. I quote him first in Latin, because lovers of his barrister's tour de force style will enjoy it.
Si Tiberis ascendit in moenia, si Nilus non ascendit in arva, si caelum stetit, si terra movit, si fames, si lues, statim Christianos ad leonem! adclamatur. Tantos ad unum? (Liber Apologeticus 40.1) The translation gets the meaning, but not the accelerating punch of the original:
If the Tiber rises too high for the walls, or the Nile too low for the fields, if the heavens do not open, or the earth does, if there is famine, if there is plague, instantly the …

Pegwell Bay, Vespers and the new Schola Augustini

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The number of fast trains from St Pancras to Margate was doubled shortly after Christmas to two each hour, each taking only an hour and a half. This will help to increase the number of visitors as well as those who realise that it is possible to commute to London and work on the train.

Quite a few priests find their way down here on days off, and the attraction of the Shrine of St Augustine at Ramsgate brings many lay Catholics. Of course the senior Catholic parish here at Margate needs to be better known as well ;-)

Last weekend was one of those on which many things and people came together. The new Schola Sancti Augustini, directed by Tom Neal is formed of local volunteers who wish to learn and sing Gregorian Chant. They plan to sing Vespers once a month at the Shrine of St Augustine and yesterday was the first occasion. Above you can see Fr Holden, the Rector of the Shrine, incensing the altar during the Magnificat. The Church, if you don't already know, was AW Pugin's own…

The wonderful sacrament of anointing the sick

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Hospital chaplaincy was a part of the first five years of my priestly ministry 30 years ago. I must admit honestly that I was not looking forward to being on hospital call-out again after such a long time. A good priest friend (younger than me) brought me up sharply by saying simply "Well you get people into heaven." I should have re-read the section of my own sacramental theology notes where I observe that the doctrine of Trent was forgotten because of Jansenist rigour.

I rely heavily on the manual of Fr Felix Cappello De Sacramentis published in 1945. He develops an interesting line of thought on the end or purpose of the sacrament of extreme unction and refers to the Council of Trent’s introduction to the sacrament where it teaches that
By the sacrament of extreme unction, he [viz. our most merciful Redeemer] strengthens the end of life with a most firm defence. (Session 14 "Doctrina de sacramento extremae unctionis" c.1 - Denzinger 1694/907)
Cappello proposes t…

St Gregory and the Angles

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The Catholic primary school in my parish is called St Gregory's. In the reception area there is the above fine picture of their patron saint (also one of the principal patrons of the parish.)

Here is a close-up of the scroll which the saintly Pope is holding.



The scroll reads:
Angelicum habent faciem et tales angelorum in caelis decet esse consortes

They have an angelic face and it is fitting for such to be co-heirs of the angels in heaven. The text is a quotation from St Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Book II, chapter I. This is often abbreviated into a simplified account in which St Gregory is supposed to have said "Not Angles but Angels." Here is the fulller version of the episode as related by St Bede:
Nor must we pass by in silence the story of the blessed Gregory, handed down to us by the tradition of our ancestors, which explains his earnest care for the salvation of our nation. It is said that one day, when some merchants had lately arr…

Epiphany Mass at St Augustine's, Ramsgate

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This Tuesday at 6.30pm at the Shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate, the Victoria Consort will be singing Palestrina's Missa O Rex Gloriae at an old rite Missa Cantata at which I have the good fortune to be the celebrant.

I have not heard this Mass setting before (Palestrina did write 105) so I just listened to the Kyrie via YouTube. Having heard the Victoria Consort a couple of times now, I am very much looking forward to their rendition for the greater glory of God.


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